LaConnie joins us at Paperback Writere and talks about her B-U-M-P-Y ride on the road to getting published. It was a tedious voyage that she said she never gave up on. Read the interview below to find out just how long her voyage really was.
Welcome to Paperback Writer
Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
The inspiration for When I’m With You came from my experience as a public health educator. For the last fifteen years, I’ve taught health education primarily to African American women in community-based settings. Oftentimes, before I can lecture on the risk factors associated with chronic diseases disproportionally impacting African Americans, I have to deal with the soci-economic deterrents, which have a profound and negative impact on their physical well-being.
Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
I’m definitely a writer who needs an outline!! However, I must confess, once I get into a story, my characters have a tendency to lead me down a different road than I’d plan to take them on. This doesn’t mean that I toss my outline in the trash. Far to the contrary!! What I will do is pause to listen to what my characters are saying and adjust the outline accordingly.
Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
Generally, I do. My job as a writer is to ensure that I connect all the dots from start to finish and keep readers turning from page to page.
Do you have a process for developing your characters?
Yes, I use the Intelligence Dossier to develop my main characters.
It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
Hmmm, so far all of my characters are the total opposite of who I am as a person. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Can you imagine another me fictional or not running around – LOL!!
What is your most favorite part about this book?
I’m particularly fond of the dinner scene in the story where the heroine is introduced to the hero’s family for the first time. It’s hilarious.
When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
It wasn’t until the manuscript had gone through about six revisions and I was satisfied with the final version that I began the search to try and sell it.
What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
The journey to publication was long and let me tell you, the road was B-U-M-P-Y!! It was a tedious voyage, but I never gave up on it!! After completing When I’m With You, I submitted the manuscript to sixty-eight agents. Eleven requested a partial, but afterwards, declined further interest. Finally in November 2005, I gathered the courage to submit the manuscript directly to six publishing houses, followed two months later by When a Man Loves A Woman. By the spring 2006, three of them had requested the complete for When I’m With You and the rest is history.
What has been the best part about being published?
Hmmm, I’m still searching for the answer!! No seriously, knowing that I followed through on a goal that I’d set for myself. Also, the feedback from my readers has been nothing short of fantastic and is without a doubt the best part. As an author, my greatest desire is to give readers a story they’ll remember for a long time.
What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
Actually there are three. First, I want readers to understand the beauty and power of love that exists between the right man and woman, Secondly, I want readers to know and cherish the importance of family. Finally, I hope readers can discover some strategies from my stories that they can apply to whatever real-life situation they’re facing to help overcome it.
Do you have plans to write another book?
My second book, When A Man Loves A Woman is schedule to release April 1st. Yes, it’s the sequel to When I’m With You. Also, readers who’ve enjoyed the saga of the Baptiste Clan should hold on to their seats, because I’m working on another continuing story, tentatively titled, If I Were Your Woman. There are also two other Works in Progress as well. With all of this, I plan to stay pretty busy in 2008.
Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
There’s only one word to describe it – AWESOME!!
Where can readers find a copy of your book?
They can find it at all the major bookstores and on-line at Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles.com, Books-A-Million.com, to name a few.
Do you have a website for readers to go to?
I’d love for readers to visit me website at: www.laconnietaylorjones.com
Thank you, LaConnie for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I wish you success on the rest of your virtual book tour.
Check out LaConnie’s website at http://www.laconnietaylorjones.com/ to see how you can win a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.com!